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£2.2 million for Scotland's third sector

15/02/2010

The Scottish Government today announced the organisations to benefit from a £2.2 million fund set up to support Scotland's third sector through the recession.

Originally set at £1.7 million, Ministers increased the Third Sector Resilience Fund by 30 per cent in response to the level of need demonstrated.

The fund will provide one-off grants of up to 100,000 pounds to 64 organisations across Scotland to mitigate the impact of recession on front line services.

The beneficiaries include organisations supporting parents, children, older people, victims of crime as well as people experiencing financial difficulties, illness or disability.

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather, said:

"This £2.2 million support package from the Scottish Government will support and sustain the development of Scotland's third sector in these tough economic times.

"The Third Sector Resilience fund was launched in response to the difficulties felt by some third sector organisations as a result of the global downturn. These grants will provide an immediate boost that will help to position organisations for a strong recovery and in turn, will support the provision of front-line services for the most vulnerable people in Scotland."

Lucy McTernan, Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations said:

"The Resilience Fund is very welcome indeed. The economic downturn means that charities and voluntary organisations have to do more with less. Donations and grants are down yet demand for services we deliver is up significantly, meaning that many organisations across the country are really struggling.

"This new money will give these organisations the peace of mind to plan ahead and to keep providing their vital services in communities across Scotland."

The Ripple Project in Edinburgh will receive £35,000 to support its work providing services to help people of all ages improve their quality of life.

Liz Ferguson, Manager of the Ripple Project, said:

"People cannot overestimate the value of this award to the Ripple Project or to the disadvantaged community that we work with. With this grant, government has recognised the impact our small organisation can have, and the value of our work.

"It's great for the community we serve to know that the government is taking note of what is happening at a grass roots level - and wants to help. This will bring a tremendous morale boost to the people we support, and to the 50 or so volunteers who deliver this work."

Launched at the end of September 2009 at £1.7 million, the Scottish Government increased the Third Sector Resilience Fund by £500,000 to enable the provision of grants to all 64 organisations that met every aspect of the criteria.

The assessment panel, comprising a mix of officials from the Scottish Government and third sector partners, considered 189 applications and made recommendations to Ministers for approval. All 64 applications that fully met the fund criteria, will receive an award.

To qualify for funding, organisations had to demonstrate:

  • how the recession had led to increased demand or significantly undermined their services
  • that any increased pressure on their services was as a direct result of the recession
  • that prior to the recession they were a viable organisation with a proven track record of front line service delivery over two years
  • what caused the problem, and their proposed solution including the submission of a detailed recovery plan
  • they had unrestricted reserves equating to less than six months' running costs of the organisation
  • the requirement for the Resilience Fund and their longer term viability with certification by an auditor or chartered accountant to that effect
  • appropriate safeguards were in place for both the expenditure of funding and, if the need arises, recovery

The Big Lottery Fund is also preparing to announce the beneficiaries of its recession fund, which aims to support existing grant holders in Scotland who work with those most in need following the economic downturn.